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 York Revolution

Emblem of the Nation to Deliver First Pitches at WellSpan Park

April 1, 2024 - Atlantic League (AtL)
York Revolution News Release

(York, Pa.) - York Revolution home games in 2024 will commence with the living symbol of America delivering the ceremonial first pitch ball to the pitcher's mound at WellSpan Park.

York Revolution officials today revealed that after months of intensive training, local avian fixtures Darrell and Henry will deliver the first pitch balls to the pitcher's mound at 6:30 PM each night game and 2:00 PM on Sundays. The symbols of America, named after legendary Revolution broadcaster Darrell Henry, will replicate this feat famously performed by Challenger the Eagle at the inaugural game at WellSpan Park on June 15, 2007.

Inspired by the nationwide obsession with the California eagle couple Jackie and Shadow and the memory of the grandeur of Challenger, the Revolution contracted with world-renowned ornithologist and raptor expert F. Peter Sake to train the feathered friends to deliver the baseballs. What fans will see on Opening Day on April 25th will be the culmination of months of building trust with America's symbol of freedom.

"My team has worked tirelessly to earn Darrell and Henry's trust and to get them acclimated to carrying the baseball and trying not to hatch it," said Sake. The intensive effort included donning an elaborate eagle costume when approaching the notable nest next to the Harley Davidson plant and providing the raptors with fresh fish from the Codorus to earn their trust. Sake also had to master the language of the eagle, which sounds more like dolphins than the screeching of a hawk often depicted on television and movies. "Once they saw I meant no harm and 'spoke' eagle we became birds of a feather and they came to me when called," Sake said. "For games in 2024, a bird in hand at 6:30 PM will be worth one on the field as they deliver the ball to the Revolution starting pitcher."

Revolution President Eric Menzer said that the team has the support of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to engage with our feathered friends on this task. "We are not looking to ruffle any feathers amongst our avian advocates in the Codorus valley," said Menzer. "As they say, the early bird catches the worm, or in this case the fish, as Darrell and Henry will be richly rewarded for a couple minutes of work. Each night at WellSpan Park our visitors will have a bird's eye view of seeing the symbol of America come home to roost on the pitcher's mound."

Depending on which eagle parent may be home on nesting duties, the delivery will be conducted by either Darrell or Henry each game. "It would take an eagle-eyed observer to tell the difference between the two", according to Sake. As the crow flies, the nest is only about a half mile downstream of WellSpan Park which Sake estimates the eagles can commute in a speedy 2 minutes if necessary. "It's been a feather in my cap for this old bird working with raptors for over 30 years to team up with the Revolution to make this dream a reality," said Sake.

"We don't want to count our chickens before they hatch but I anticipate every fan in attendance will have goose bumps at the start of every Revolution game in 2024," proclaimed Menzer. "Not only are we hoping to crow over our opponents on the field in 2024 but also over other minor league baseball parks in setting the bar for promotional excellence. We hope there is no foul play on Opening Day and that our fans will be proud as peacocks of Darrell and Henry as they start each game in 2024."

Opening Day for the Revolution is April 25, where the Revolution will honor the late Brooks Robinson with a Brooks Robinson replica York White Roses jersey giveaway for the first 1,000 fans. The Revolution will also be holding a silent auction with proceeds to benefit the Constance and Brooks Robinson Charitable Foundation. Fans from all over the world can participate in the auction through the Live Source app, and featured auction items include one-of-a-kind items such as a Brooks Robinson rookie card, a Brooks-signed golden third base from his awarded as he was recognized as the all-time best defensive third baseman in MLB history and several other Robinson-signed memorabilia items. Gates open at 5:30 PM on April 25th.

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